AVON PARK — Thirty-five graduates of South Florida State College’s Associate Degree Nursing Program were honored June 17 in a traditional pinning ceremony in the SFSC Theatre for the Performing Arts.
Keynote speaker Allen Branch, an adjunct nursing instructor at SFSC and a certified registered nurse anesthetist, emphasized to the graduates that this is only the beginning to a lifelong journey of learning.
“You may think you have finished your studies, but you have just started,” Branch said. “You have all proved that you’re not settling for a minimal education. Now that you’ve proved yourself, I encourage you to stay with it. Nursing and medicine are ever changing, and you have to keep learning and pressing on to succeed. The more I learn, the more I understand what I don’t know.”
During the ceremony, graduates accepted their nursing pins from a person of their choice, in most cases a relative or friend who they credited with being supportive throughout their lives.
“The highlight of completing a program of study in nursing is receiving the nursing pin,” said Dr. Michele Heston, director of SFSC’s nursing program. “It is a symbol of service – service that includes many professional rights and responsibilities. I can assure you that the students who receive their pins tonight are prepared to serve.”
The graduating class presented Jerri Palmer, adjunct instructor, with the 2014 Golden Duck Award. The award is presented to an individual or group that contributes to the learning experience of the students and has gone above and beyond to educate and accommodate members of the class, based on the D.U.C.K. motto: developing, understanding, compassion and knowledge.
The practice of pinning new graduates has been a nursing school tradition in the United States since 1916. The pin is worn prominently on a nurse’s uniform throughout her or his career.
Graduates of the ADN program become registered nurses by passing the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses exam. For the past six years, the percentage of SFSC ADN students that have passed the exam is well above the national average of 82.09 percent.
SFSC offers associate degree nursing options for students interested in becoming registered nurses: a two-year generic-RN program and a one-year transition-LPN to RN program. The college also offers a one-year practical nursing occupational certificate program. Coming this fall, SFSC will offer a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
The 2014 ADN graduates are Kimberly Barker, Nicole Brown, Debra Coats, Taya Cook, Lynn Mary Duncan, Jennifer Edmondson, Desiree Gaines, Victor Gonzalez Del Real, Asriel Gonzalez, Travis Grills, Andrea Guido, Amber Harris, Dennis Hart, Rachael Henry, Frankie Hernandez, Jessika Jones, Courtney Logston, Consuelo Lule, Melanie MacPherson, Molina-Molina, Yesenia, Navarrete, Jacqueline, Nicole John Ramos, Chelsea Richardson, Melissa Richardson, Edsel Roa, Alejandra Rodriguez, Erika Yanet Rodriguez, Liliana Salazar, Luisa Sierra, Naydaliz Soto, Jovenel St. Fleur, Kenneth Valentine, Elizabeth Williamson, April Wilson and Jade Wise.
For more information or program entry requirements, go online to http://www.southflorida.edu/student/resources/catalog/ or call the SFSC Advising and Counseling Center at 784-7131. For application deadlines and scheduling, call the SFSC Allied Health Department at 784-7290.